Yoga Teacher Training Explodes (In A Good Way!) During the Pandemic

When COVID hit in March 2020, one of the first things the Mind the Mat team addressed was, “What in the world are we going to do about the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program?” Normally, participants in this six-month program meet in person every other weekend to learn about many aspects of yoga, including history and philosophy, anatomy and yoga poses, creating classes, business aspects, ethics, and so much more. We decided we would have to teach most of the program online and potentially meet in person if Virginia governor’s regulations would eventually allow. We called our program “HYFLEX,” meaning hybrid virtual and in-person, and very flexible. No pun intended!


Pre-COVID hands-on-assist by Mind the Mat owner, Sara VanderGoot, e-RYT 500, PRYT, CMT


Honestly, we wondered how many people would actually sign up. Our guess was that students would prefer being in person for a yoga teacher training; they would be overwhelmed with the adjustments they were having to make in their own lives due to COVID (like having school kids at home) or may have lost their jobs and wouldn’t want to invest in education. Also, we wondered how well our curriculum would translate well over Zoom. Fast forward to October 2020, at the start of the Yoga Teacher Training Program, we had a full class of students registered! In fact, there seemed to be even more interest in yoga teacher training than before COVID (and there was a lot even before COVID). This was a hopeful trend to see!


Anatomy lecture with Mind the Mat owner, Dr. Megan Brown PT


Here are some of the reasons why now is a good time to do the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program from current students over the last six months:

• Students feel that more time at home and no commute allows for extra flexibility.

• Students have a desire to engage with other people in a meaningful way during lockdowns.

• The ability to do yoga classes virtually from home supports a more frequent and dedicated yoga and meditation practice (enrollees get unlimited free virtual yoga classes upon registration!).

• Much of the content translates really well over Zoom, and Mind the Mat was able to hire an expert in yoga history and philosophy who lives in New York!

• Mind the Mat added extra mentoring in small groups over Zoom. This gave students a forum to get to know each other more intimately and work more closely with the instructors.

• Students from other states had the opportunity to join, who would not have had the opportunity if they were required to come in person.

• Mind the Mat’s outdoor classes gave them a chance to soak up the yoga vibes in person (enrollees get unlimited free outdoor yoga classes throughout the program!).

• Mind the Mat offered students the option to take 30 Hours of Foundations for Yoga Teacher Training before committing to the entire 200 hours. Find more about that option here.


If you are interested in finding out more about our upcoming 200 Hour HYFLEX Yoga Teacher Training beginning October 2021, click here.  Also, to sign up for one of our upcoming Q & As with the director of the Yoga Teacher Training Program, Caroline Deitch, click here.


Director of Yoga Teacher Training, Caroline Deitch RYT 500, PRYT


Upcoming Dates for Q & As:
Monday, April 26th at 7:45p via ZOOM
Sunday, May 16th at 10:30a Outdoors at Mind the Mat Del Ray
Monday, June 7th at 7:45p via ZOOM
Questions about training?  Email Caroline Deitch at


  • The latest from Sara
co-owner, CMT, e-RYT 200, RYT 500 | Mind the Mat
Sara VanderGoot, CMT, e-RYT 200, RYT 500, is Co-founder of Mind the Mat Pilates and Yoga and Director of Mind the Mat Yoga Alliance certified teacher training program. Sara is an experienced Registered Yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance. She studied Interdisciplinary Yoga with Don and Amba Stapleton in Nosara, Costa Rica and at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Sara is Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, licensed by the Virginia Board of Nursing. Sara has been practicing massage therapy, including specialties Prenatal Massage, Postpartum Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Thai Yoga Massage, in Del Ray, Alexandria for over 15 years and a yoga instructor for 7 years. At Mind the Mat she specializes in Prenatal Yoga, Postpartum Core Yoga, Mommy and Me Core Yoga, Partners Yoga, and Hot Flow Yoga. Sara frequently acts as a birth companion for many of her clients, doing massage and yoga during labor and delivery to facilitate comfort during both medicated and unmedicated births. Before becoming a massage therapist and yoga instructor, she was a lawyer in the Washington D.C. area and found that the healing practices of massage and yoga brought a balance to her life that she had been searching for.

Mind the Mat Pilates & Yoga was founded in 2008 by Megan Brown, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Polestar Certified Practitioner of Pilates for Rehabilitation and Sara VanderGoot, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher (e-RYT 200, RYT 500). In their private practices as physical therapist and massage therapist respectively Megan and Sara observed that many of their clients were coming in with similar needs: relief for neck and shoulder tension and low back pain as well as a desire for more flexibility in hips and legs, stability in joints, and core strength.

Together Megan and Sara carefully crafted a curriculum of Pilates and yoga classes to address needs for clients who are pregnant, postpartum, have injuries or limitations, who are new to Pilates and yoga, and for those who are advanced students and are looking for an extra challenge.     

2214 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your daily dose of all things fashion, beauty, fitness, and design. Locally sourced and locally styled!